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|Vidalia, Monterey begin playoffs|
For the third straight year that Vidalia High will be heading to Iowa for a Class 3A first round playoff game.
While the brackets were not going to be official until this afternoon (Wednesday), Vidalia is seeded No. 28, while Iowa has a No. 4 power rating.
"I told Coach (Sean) Richard that I might as well just buy a summer home there," said Vidalia coach Johnny Lee Hoffpauir.
"I couldn't believe that," Richard said. "I don't know if that has ever happened before. And that's using two different types of playoff systems."
The only way that would change is if someone disputed their seeding.
Monterey High is headed to Downsville. The Wolves finished with a No. 24 power rating, while Maurepas is seeded No. 9.
Vidalia missed out on a chance to win the District 3-3A title by losing its last two games to Bunkie and Buckeye.
The Vikings finished second in district to Bolton, which is 12-12 and 10-2 in district, with both losses coming to Vidalia.
The Vikings finished the regular season 16-9- and 9-3 in district.
"The bracket is pretty messed up," Hoffpauir said. "There are teams below .500 ahead of us in fourth and fifth place in their district, while Bolton is behind us."
Iowa is 25-3 overall and finished 14-0 in District 4-3A.
"This is probably one of the best offensive teams we've had," Richard said, "Our guys are pretty aggressive at the plate."
Richard said senior Madison Lachney is his top pitcher. Lachney is 11-2 on the season.
"Madison throws the fastball pretty well," Richard said. "We also have a sophomore, Phillip LeBleu, who is 6-1."
Two years ago, Iowa snapped Vidalia High's 10-year streak of making it to the second round of the playoffs by defeating the Vikings 17-7.
Iowa made it all the way to the Class 3A semifinals before falling to St. Charles.
Last year, Vidalia would return to Iowa, again in the role of underdog and again facing a one-and-done situation.
The No. 24-seeded Vikings scored five runs in sixth inning to upset the No. 9 Yellow Jackets 8-7 and advance to the second round where they fell to E.D. White.
"Last year was really disappointing, the way it ended," Richard said. "And that's not taking anything away from Vidalia, they did a tremendous job. We strive each year to get to the state tournament and we came up short."
Vidalia fell to Bunkie 12-11 Thursday in Bunkie, scoring eight runs in the sixth and seventh inning to tie the game up.
Matt Souderes led the Vikings with three hits.
The Vikings lost at Buckeye, 9-6 on Monday.
"We just haven't played with a lot of composure the last two games," Hoffpauir said.
Monterey finished 6-4 in district and tied for second in district.
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